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5 - Moore and Common Sense

from Part I

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 November 2020

Rik Peels
Affiliation:
Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
René van Woudenberg
Affiliation:
Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
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Summary

In his 1925 paper ‘A Defence of Common Sense’, G. E. Moore set out his ‘Common Sense view of the World’ as a series of ‘truisms’ about himself and the world. Moore then claims (1) that our common-sense truisms are largely true, and (2) that we know that our common-sense truisms are largely true. In his writings Moore defends (1) against philosophers who argue that common sense is no guide to the nature of reality by distinguishing between the ordinary meaning of his common-sense truisms (which is unproblematic) and their analysis (which is often doubtful). He defends (2) against sceptics by arguing that the assessment of claims to knowledge has to respect the framework of deep common-sense beliefs which shape our evidence. This chapter argues that Moore’s defence of (1) is not persuasive but that the defence of (2) includes important contributions to epistemology.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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